Antonio Conte planning record-breaking deal for this striker if Diego Costa leaves in the summer.
According to various reports, Antonio Conte is planning for life without Diego Costa this summer with the Spanish hit man destined for ...
According to various reports, Antonio Conte is planning for life without Diego Costa this summer with the Spanish hit man destined for a move to China, and has set his sights on a £56m deal for Romelu Lukaku.
The situation with Diego Costa isn't going to go away and will continue to be spoken of until the summer. To be fair and full credit to Costa, since the claims of a bust-up were made back in January,, with his subsequent exclusion from the team, Costa's attitude has been outstanding and it has not affected his game at all.
Speaking on Monday night after victory over West Ham and his seventeenth goal of the season, Costa was asked what happened at the training ground and he replied by saying:
"It was nothing.
People here [in England] make up a lot of stuff. Things happen, but I'm showing now that there's nothing to it.
I'm playing and scoring goals, and that's the important thing. Everyone knows that anything I say has bigger repercussions than what it was.
The manager is someone who works us really hard in training. He's got his personality just like I've got mine and others have theirs, but the important thing is to show your personality in a way that benefits the team.
This is what's happening. Everyone is on the same page and that's the way we have to go." - Source: The Mirror.
We will never know what happened back in January but there is a concern that this situation is not over. Additional reports last week claimed that the Chinese were willing to pay Chelsea a world record fee to sign him, offering him extortionate sums of money per week and subsequently, Chelsea have upped the price to over £100m. We wait to see what happens but it's looking likely that after two summers of reported speculation that he wanted to leave, he finally will this year.
So to Romelu Lukaku and you have to be impressed by what he has achieved in the Premier League ever since he left Chelsea. He has forged an impressive goal scoring reputation despite there being certain flaws in his game. Whilst on loan in two spells away from Chelsea at West Brom first of all followed by Everton, Lukaku scored 32 goals in 66 games. Having signed for Everton in 2014, he has scored 46 goals in 99 appearances and it's why Antonio Conte has identified Lukaku as a like-for-like replacement for Costa and is willing to pay double the amount Everton had signed him for.
It's clear that Everton under Ronald Koeman will not be willing to let the 23-year-old leave without a fight but would find it hard to turn down such a substantial offer, especially being double their outlay to sign the player back in 2014.
It will be interesting to see what happens at Everton this summer as Koeman is being linked with a possible move to Barcelona to replace the outgoing Luis Enrique. Is that something that is pure speculation or does it actually have real substance? If he does leave who would Everton look to replace him? What would that mean for Lukaku?
Reports state that Lukaku still holds Chelsea dear to his heart and we have read in the past that he has plenty of regrets about his previous time here. He reportedly feels that he was never given a chance to succeed here the first time around and wants an opportunity to show the Chelsea fans exactly what he could do and achieve at the club according to sources close to him.
As I said, there is little doubt of his talent and his ability to put the ball into the back of net but even still, with a few years Premier League experience, you look at Lukaku and believe that he could offer so much more. He needs to vastly improve his ability in the air being someone of his size. He gets beaten far too easily and needs to be able to dominate defenders as Didier Drogba proved throughout the years at Chelsea.
Chelsea have relied on a big striker up top, playing on his own for a few years now with the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian all looking to link up with him to either play the ball up to him and feed off of him, or to play him in behind. Lukaku has to improve his ability to hold the ball up also just as Diego Costa does in games. Both Costa and Drogba are smaller players or at least do not have the same physique as Lukaku so he has to do better.
There will be people that question paying a record fee to sign Lukaku this summer but you have to agree that he would be a good investment. Working under Antonio Conte would be good for the Belgian striker as Conte and his staff should be able to improve the technical aspect of his game to get the best out of him. Champions League football would also benefit as he has often spoken of his desire to play in club football's biggest competition.
There are plenty of other strikers that Chelsea are being linked with and will continue to be linked with this summer. I really, really rate Alvaro Morata as I have already stated here. You cannot buy experience and with the experience Romelu Lukaku has, has he now become the better option for Chelsea this summer if Diego Costa leaves?
What do you think?